Could you be AYM’s next Alumni Trustee?

We’re seeking to appoint a second AYM Alumni (age 18-25) as a trustee. For full details about the role and how to apply read on, or download the recruitment pack below.

If you have any questions, would like to receive this information document in another format, for support with your application, or to apply in another format please contact Hester Cockcroft on 0300 302 1185 or email [email protected].

Why Alumni trustees?

As you will know as a member of our Alumni children and young people are at the heart of AYM’s work and we therefore believe that children and young people themselves must be involved in influencing and informing the organisation. It is important to AYM that our programmes meet the needs of the young people we support, and that they are representative of and relevant to the participants. This approach is often described as Youth Voice and Participation. Recruiting Alumni as trustees is the next step to ensuring that young people are directly involved in decision making.


  • Application deadline: Monday 29 June 2020
  • Interviews via video conference: Week of 6 July 2020
  • Induction sessions with ‘buddy’ Trustee: July and August 2020
  • Attend Board meeting to observe: Tuesday 8 September 2020
  • Trustee meetings: Tuesday 8 December 2020, Tuesday 9 March 2021, Tuesday 8 June 2021, Tuesday 7 September 2021, Tuesday 30 September 2021
  • End of tenure: Thursday 30 September 2021:

Caius Lee’s experience as an Alumni Trustee

I am immensely grateful to have served the year as an Alumni Trustee and am proud to remain on the Board. It speaks volumes that AYM invite past recipients to become a Trustee and shows faith in its Award winners, enabling them to succeed beyond the funding provided. My introduction to the Board was like being welcomed to a family where everyone has been tremendously supportive and have patiently guided me on the workings of a successful charity board. Mentoring is provided throughout the tenure to build my knowledge base where I am then entrusted to contribute ideas to the meetings in person or online. 

I have been able to give an emerging musician’s perspective on the Board, helping to shape opportunities for current and future beneficiaries. There is no doubt that I am gaining invaluable real-life experience in the world of business and gaining transferable skills which will prove useful in the future. I now have an in-depth knowledge of how the [arts] and charity sector works and the decision making processes required for a successful national charity, including how to fundraise and host donor concerts. Being a trustee requires a tremendous amount of responsibility, as the Board is committed to the future upkeep of the charity. I strongly urge interested Alumni to take up this invitation to join the Board to expand their own skills. It’s also an ideal opportunity to give back to the charity in an enormously rewarding way and to ensure that AYM continues to be a leader in music education.

Why be a trustee?

Being a trustee gives you knowledge, understanding and experience of how a charity is governed. More specifically some of the things you will be involved with and learn about are:

  • Finances e.g. scrutinising management accounts and signing off annual budgets 
  • Programme development and management
  • Communications
  • Events management
  • Risk assessment and management 
  • Business planning
  • Fundraising

AYM also operates several sub committees, each of which meet by conference call for an hour every month to focus on some key areas of the organisation’s work e.g. fundraising and communications. These involve both staff and trustees and so if recruited you will be warmly invited to get involved in at least one of them, depending on your interests.

Another really important – and really enjoyable – part of being a trustee for AYM is to turn up to represent the charity at our fundraising concerts. As you will know if you’ve performed at them, these take place both in London and in other parts of the UK and we’re now holding up to 10 events a year. We won’t expect you to come to all of them of course, but would encourage you to join us at as many as possible. We’ve developed a successful format combining networking and refreshments with just the right length of music (events are timed so guests can come straight from work). One of the performers speaks, as does a parent/carer, AYM’s Chief Executive and where possible an AYM Patron. Trustees are there to talk to guests about how great AYM’s work is and so encourage them to support us, financially or in other ways. And the food and drink is good too!

As well as gaining knowledge and experience, being a trustee can be a great way to develop confidence and communication skills and it is viewed positively by employers when you apply for a new job. There is mutual benefit for the organisation and trustees. As well as it supporting trustees’ learning and development, the organisation gains knowledge and expertise from the trustees. Being a trustee is a strategic and advisory role: trustees aren’t normally involved in planning or delivering projects.

What is a trustee?

“Trustees have overall control of a charity and are responsible for making sure it’s doing what it was set up to do. Trustees are the people who lead the charity and decide how it is run. Being a trustee means making decisions that will impact on people’s lives. Depending on what the charity does, you will be making a difference to your local community or to society as a whole. Trustees use their skills and experience to support their charities, helping them achieve their aims. Trustees also often learn new skills during their time on the board.” Taken from Government guidance –

As a trustee you have legal responsibility for the charity’s management and administration and for ensuring that it remains solvent. More information can be found here.

Legally you must be age 18 or over in order to be a trustee.

As Awards for Young Musicians is also a Company Limited by Guarantee, trustees automatically become a Company Director too.  A Company Limited by Guarantee is a private limited company that has guarantors rather than shareholders, so it’s suitable for charities. The members (in our case the Trustees or Directors, which means the same thing) agree to pay a fixed amount known as a guarantee (usually £1) towards the company’s debts if it goes into liquidation. So don’t let that £1 put you off!

What’s the time commitment?

The trustee selected will begin by observing one meeting after which, if they choose to commit, will serve as trustee for a one year period. The one-year term involves attending four meetings (one every three months) and reading papers in advance. At each meeting you will be supported to contribute to discussion, share your ideas and opinions, and be part of reaching decisions and conclusions.

How will I be supported?

You will be assigned a trustee buddy from the existing trustees who will act as peer mentors, helping you to settle into the role; learn about the papers and documents which as a trustee you have to read and comment on; understand your responsibilities, processes, protocols and meeting structure; and answer questions that you have about being an AYM trustee.

AYM is committed to accessibility and inclusivity. Any additional requirements will be supported.

If at any point in the process the appointed trustee decides to step down (for example if they decide it isn’t what they expected or their circumstances change) they will be supported to leave the board of trustees and, if relevant, be signposted to other opportunities.

Will I be paid?

When you become a trustee, you volunteer your services and you won’t receive payment for your work. Generally, charities can’t pay their trustees for simply being a trustee.

Trustees can however claim reasonable expenses, for example:

  • Travel to and from trustee meetings
  • Telephone calls for charity work
  • Childcare or care of other dependant while attending meetings

Click here for more information

Role specification and criteria

Applicants must be:

  • Age 18-25 as of the date the application is submitted
  • An AYM Alumni i.e. you have been supported as a young musician by the charity
  • Available to observe the trustee meeting taking place on Tuesday 8 September 2020.
  • Able to commit to the six trustee meetings in 2020-2021 (see above timetable for dates).
  • Meetings are held in London or via video conferencing.

How to apply

If you meet the criteria above and are keen to apply please send a CV and a short supporting statement (no more than 2 sides of A4 please) explaining:

  • What you think you have to offer as an AYM trustee
  • What you hope to gain from being an AYM trustee..

Please send your CV and supporting statement to Hester Cockcroft, Chief Executive of AYM at [email protected] by 5.00 pm on Monday 29 June 2020.


Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview with AYM’s Chair of Trustees and Chief Executive in week beginning 6 July 2020. If your application is unsuccessful we will endeavour to signpost you to other relevant opportunities where possible.

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